Author's Note: I know, I've been gone for quite some time but health and life got in the way again. I'm working on Burning Love and now that summer is nearly here I'll have more free time. However, this story has not left my head for a while now.

What you guys need to know. This is after the founders day parade. Katherine is not in the house and it is Elena on the porch. Characters will seem OOC at times possibly. Let me know what you think :)

Elena doesn't know if her body feels ablaze with warmth due to the humid fall air that would be quickly dropping or the fact that she can still feel the smoke and imaginary flames on her skin.

She knows it's not because of the vampire standing so, so close to her on her porch though.

She's quite certain because the vampire is not her boyfriend and being this close to Damon can't possibly warm her body.

Elena looks up at him the moment he turns back to her. Her eyes flicker to the dress bag he just put behind him on the wicker patio furniture. And when she glances up her eyes get stuck under his ice glacier gaze like a prisoner. If she weren't wearing her vervain necklace she would believe that he was compelling her to never look away.

Except, Damon wouldn't do that.

Everything must be real, Elena's voice reasons in her head.

Being this close and personal with Damon has Elena moving her head to the side a fraction of an inch as her gaze sweeps over his practically unblemished skin. Even though she's certain he's fed, showered, and changed his clothes she can still faintly smell the smoke on him and her stomach churns at the thought of the what ifs of the past night.

What if Bonnie actually deactivated John's device?

What if Damon didn't warn them?

What if Stefan wouldn't have saved his brother?

"You know," Damon's voice travels across her exposed arms in a rich embrace and Elena actually feels goosebumps coat her skin. "I came to this town wanting to destroy it. Tonight, I found myself wanting to protect it. How does that happen?"

Another inch forward and Elena knows she should back up. Every sense in her body is telling—screaming—to back up, but this is Damon and he won't hurt her.

Glancing down at his lips, Elena takes an intake of breath when Damon reaches up and pushes some of her soft curls away from her face; exposing the right side of her neck to him.

"I'm not a hero, Elena. I don't do good. It's not in me."

Her voice comes out raspier than intended. It's from the smoke. It has to be from the smoke.

"Maybe it is."

This time, Elena knows they definitely moved closer to one another, and she's not so sure it was Damon who inched forward.

Damon's brow crinkles and for a fleeting moment she's tempted to smooth it out.

"Bonnie helped save me because of you; not because I'm good or better. Which means somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you…for that."

His eyes sweep over her face and there's only so little space between them now and Elena becomes acutely aware that she has moved closer.

Damon's in front of her and he's all she can see and smell and feel. Slowly, ever so softly, his cool lips press against her heated cheek and without meaning too, a gasp escapes and her eyes squeeze shut.

When he pulls away, only a centimeter, and she looks up at him, her lower lip gets caught between her teeth.

An increasingly familiar feeling starts to fill her belly. She first felt it the night they drank in Bree's bar. She felt it again while helping him dress before the auction, and at other inopportune moments that leave her feeling guilty and ashamed as she slides beneath her sheets each night.

Her voice, caught in her throat, makes it hard to speak. Instead, Elena murmurs, "You're welcome."

Damon's eyes wash over her face and Elena waits.

She doesn't know what for, but then he takes a step back and she takes a few quick breaths in and out to try to steady her erratic heartbeat.

Frantically, her hand latches onto his in order to stop him from retreating.

"Damon," she breathes quietly, although she knows he can hear her the moment his body freezes. His skin is ice against her tips and that makes her feel even more on fire than she already felt before.

All of a sudden every little thing they do—every intake of air she breathes, every time Damon glances down at her lips, every time she finds an unreasonable reason to keep touching him seems frantic and necessary.

"You need to let go of my hand, Elena," he warns darkly and Elena pulls on her bottom lip once more at hearing his hard command.

She shouldn't grip him tighter, but she does.

Defiantly, she tilts her chin up even though he's turned away from her and asks, "Why?"

"If you don't then I'm one second away from taking what I want from you and I don't think I'll be able to stop."

Her knees tremble and she licks her lips to wet them.

Is she even breathing anymore? Her chest burns in anticipation as a bead of sweat travels down her neck to her spine.

She squeezes his hand once more and pulls at the same time; never letting go.

Their lips touch and everything in her body melts as her body molds to him on its own accord. Not once, in her seventeen years of existence, has Elena ever responded to a kiss like this. It's a kiss where she doesn't think; where she doesn't have to worry about hair flinging in her face or if she should turn her head this way or that way.

Damon is just there and they move in synchronization as if they've done this hundreds of times before. But the ache between her thighs is new. The curling of her toes has herself clenching in anticipation.

Not once has she ever been turned on by just a kiss.

Her body may believe she's used to this, but the physical feeling of want and lust knows that this is different.

And she craves different.

Elena gives complete control over to Damon whether he knows it or not; it's the kind of control that she never gives up or else she knows that she would fall apart and crumble from the turmoil her life as become.

But Damon has her pressed against her house, one hand gripping her neck, squeezing and massaging with hard touches while his other hand is forcing her wrists together and holding them hostage above her head.

She's stretched so thin as Damon holds her wrists up, arched above her head so her body curves into him and she's desperate to be let go so she can touch.

Although he may be surrounding her until she can't see straight, his lips demanding that he meet her, Elena kisses Damon just as urgently—if not more so.

Her hips swivel up into him and for a brief second she feels his erection press against the front of her jeans and she needs friction. Her movement must have caught Damon off guard as his hand slips from holding her wrists in a bruising force and his mouth catches her small cry of slight relief.

"Elena, I thought I heard—"Jenna's voice startles for a second as Damon instantly pulls back from her. For a brief second Elena knows that Damon only pulls back from her out of concern for her and not to Jenna. If she were anyone else Damon wouldn't have cared who watched.

Heat rushes to her cheek, painting her neck and cheeks red. Elena uses her wavy hair as a curtain to block her aunt's eye, but it's still not enough and she sees Jenna staring daggers at Damon as if it's his fault she's pressed against the house with no space between their bodies.

"I think it's time to come inside. Now," Jenna suggests, although it's really not a suggestion.

Elena knows that when Jenna uses that tone of voice there's no room to mess with her. It's rare to see her aunt like this; much like her deceased mother who rarely scolded.

Damon takes a step back and Elena untangles herself, purposefully avoiding his eye contact. She bites her lip softly as heat rolls through her body and passes Damon to enter the house.

Jenna glances down at the necklace on Elena's neck and it's like a bucket of cold water has been doused over her head.


The love triangle that we all love to hate won't last long hopefully. Review please!